Retainers and You

Dentist In Kalamazoo, MI

Retainers and You Kalamazoo DentistThe Purpose of Your Retainer

As the name indicates, a retainer helps retain the alignment of your teeth after they have been positioned from braces or clear aligners. Retainers do not align teeth or correct improper alignment; they just help maintain the current position of the teeth.

A retainer is a necessary step after braces or clear aligners (ClearCorrect®), otherwise, all the time and patience of your alignment therapy could be lost. Your teeth want to slowly return to their original position, so retainers help prevent relapse.

Taking Care of Your Retainer

You should clean your retainer regularly just like you do your teeth. If a retainer sits in your mouth, it’s going to collect the same things that build up on your teeth: plaque and tartar.

Be sure to clean your retainer daily with a cleaning solution like Efferdent or soap and water. Do not use toothpaste as a cleaner for your retainer because it can be abrasive.

Different Types of Retainers

Not everyone will have the same type of retainer. These are the most common retainers

The Essix (Clear) Retainer

This retainer fits over your teeth like a shell. It’s clear so you can barely notice it! 

The Hawley Retainer

These retainers have an acrylic piece that rests on your palate with a metal wire that wraps around your teeth. For those needing a Hawley Retainer, there are a lot of color options you can choose from to personalize it.

The Bonded Retainer

This is a retainer that does not get removed from your mouth unless your dentist is changing it. The bonded retainer is a metal wire that gets secured with a dental adhesive to the back of your teeth.

Night Guards

This is not exactly a retainer option, but a night guard is something that can help if you suffer from bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding. A custom made night guard can act as both a retainer and protect the teeth from grinding together.

Partial Denture

This variation can fall in the retainer category if you are missing a permanent tooth. A retainer can be made to hold in a replacement tooth and keep your other teeth from closing in on the gap. We will make sure you get a retainer that best fits your needs to keep you smiling.

Retainer Timeline

A retainer is something you will have to wear for life, otherwise, your teeth will shift back to their original state. But, the amount of wear time each day/week may vary.

Initially, after your orthodontic treatment, you will have to wear your retainer around the clock, except while eating. Over time, how long you need to wear your retainer each day becomes less and less as directed by your dentist

It’s important to wear your retainer as scheduled to prevent your teeth from displacing. If you lose or break your retainer, you should contact your dentist immediately to get a new one. This is to make sure your teeth have not shifted too much and require further treatment.

Request an Appointment

If you are in need of clear aligner braces, or a new retainer, feel free to request an appointment online or by phone at (269) 381-3890 so we can help provide you with the smile you want. As your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, Dr. Stephanie Busch-Abbate is here to help you smile confidently.

Related Blog Posts

What Night Guards Can Do For You

Can Braces Change Your Appearance?

5 Reasons You Might Need Orthodontics

What Foods Should I Avoid with Braces?

Am I a Candidate for ClearCorrect Aligners?

This blog post has been updated.

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